Groups launch court challenge of federal approval of genetically modified salmon | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Groups launch court challenge of federal approval of genetically modified salmon

January 20, 2014 - 10:41 AM

OTTAWA - A trio of environmental groups has filed a suit in Federal Court challenging Environment Canada's decision to approve the production of genetically modified Atlantic salmon eggs.

The suit contends the federal department did not follow its own legislated rules and do a full risk assessment before clearing a U.S. company to produce the eggs in Prince Edward Island.

The court challenge demands the release of documents that could show how the Harper government makes regulatory decisions.

Boston-based Aquabounty Technologies says it has found a way to make Atlantic salmon grow twice as fast as normal by modifying eggs with genes from chinook salmon and an eel-like fish called the ocean pout.

The genetically modified fish are being grown in Panama, but environmentalists are worried they could become an invasive species that would wipe out native Atlantic salmon.

Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have yet to approve the sale of the eggs, or of the fish itself for human consumption.

Lawyer Will Amos of the group Ecojustice says the legal challenge was actually filed Dec. 23.

The suit was not publicly announced until Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Health Minister Rona Ambrose and manufacturer Aquabounty Technologies had been formally served notice.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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